Thoughts about this? (hood canal/the knuckle)

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ljjames
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Thoughts about this? (hood canal/the knuckle)

Post by ljjames » Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:28 pm

My friend Deb brought this meeting to my attention. I pulled out the excerpt from it that relates to scuba divers in Hood Canal. On the surface (forgive the pun) it may come across as grumpy neighbors, but in reality there are a few things that are of concern. I've dove this site (as I imagine a number of you have) and putting in a bunch of lines etc.. (I don't know the extent as i have not been back recently) in this pristine area does not make me jump for joy. Most homes in this area have septic systems for single family dwellings, and were not designed for a bevy of divers over a long weekend so there is concern about nutrient pollution as well (and as you will hear in the video, someone will be testing the outflows). Finally as an 'unofficial' dive training area I can imagine confusion in the case of an EMS call and water rescue/recovery.

Have any of you visited this site recently and might report back? I'd like to understand a bit more about what is going on, and due to work can't get out there to poke around and video survey for a week or so.

There is commentary in the video that the same folks cut/removed a WSA buoy as well?

phpBB [video]
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Re: Thoughts about this? (hood canal/the knuckle)

Post by Gdog » Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:52 pm

If this is true, this is very disturbing. Perportedly they did cut the WSA bouy to attempt to limit diver access other than their little group. Mason County hopefully will bring pressure on this, and we as a dive community should also do the same.

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Re: Thoughts about this? (hood canal/the knuckle)

Post by FlyinV » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:17 am

Not the type of story that will improve the image of scuba divers :(

I dove the site last weekend (from a boat)
Flagpole house was empty and viz was not very good.
I didn't see any blocks or cables on the dive site itself but I didn't venture very far from the bouy.
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Re: Thoughts about this? (hood canal/the knuckle)

Post by ljjames » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:40 am

So WSA buoy is back/alive and well? Thanks for report :)
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Re: Thoughts about this? (hood canal/the knuckle)

Post by FlyinV » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:08 am

Yes the bouy was back on April 2nd
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Re: Thoughts about this? (hood canal/the knuckle)

Post by lamont » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:27 am

What is really disturbing is where the house is and if they've got an overloaded septic tank then they're all contributing to killing the same dive site that they're diving.

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Re: Thoughts about this? (hood canal/the knuckle)

Post by deep diver » Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:05 am

I dive flagpole a lot and remember when the house sold to these people. I was told the story by someone that knew them what was going to happen about the dive school and all the money staying in Oregon. Most of the weekends have between 6-20 divers there. It worries me about the septic system too as it is just a single septic house. It does appear that most of the divers are new as when I do see them underwater they never go off the face of the knuckle towards the cloud sponge. There is some scattered sponge around so I would guess that they do go down deeper from time to time as it has had more damage since they appeared.

The site does seem to be really healthy there with lots more life than on the other dive sites.

As far as the cables and lines, none of them come all the way to the knuckle. They appear to be all on the south side of the big rock in front of the house. There is quite a maze of them going in all directions. Some are anchored to the bottom and some are floating about 5' off the bottom. Don't think they brought any concrete blocks in as there were so many already there from boat moorings from all the home owners. I think they just tie their lines around them. The lines don't go much deeper than about 55-60'.

I called when the buoy had first disappeared and found it on shore and told them where it was. It took months for them to put it back. The clevis did look like it had been sawed in two when I saw it.

I did notice that they put up a fence to keep clear boundaries between them and the neighbors, but still I see the neighbors walking around and peeking into the house when there is nobody there, so privacy does work both ways.

I've had the home owners yell at me when I was anchored in about 40' of water when the buoy was gone and tell me this was a private reserve. My answer is always the same "and you don't own it". I can see the concern of all those people most weekends sharing a water source and all the septic run off. If their intentions are to keep all divers away from flagpole no matter how they get there then that is also a concern.
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Re: Thoughts about this? (hood canal/the knuckle)

Post by Desert Diver » Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:59 pm

They didn't seem too happy with VRBO in the meeting. I've spent a lot of money in Hoodsport while staying at VRBO places. My guess is they are starting with the obvious easy target and then will continue with people renting out their homes. You have to keep the rifraff out or the neighborhood goes to the dogs.

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Re: Thoughts about this? (hood canal/the knuckle)

Post by ljjames » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:58 pm

Deep Diver, THANK YOU so much for the in depth report!
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Re: Thoughts about this? (hood canal/the knuckle)

Post by Grateful Diver » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:10 am

The problem I hear ... particularly with the second speaker ... is that they're lumping this in as a "diver" problem, when in fact it's really a problem with one guy running an under-the-table business in an area where it shouldn't be allowed. Also, the real problem is that based on the comments from the first speaker, this has been a known problem that has lacked any enforcement of the zoning code.

Don't know who this person from Oregon is who's doing this, but it definitely sounds like someone who doesn't care about much other than making some money at the expense of his neighbors and everyone else who uses this Marine Preserve area. Which begs the question ... how can he even get away with running cables and damaging the buoy in an MPA? Seems like some hefty fines are in order ... preferably sufficient to put the guy out of business.

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Re: Thoughts about this? (hood canal/the knuckle)

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:39 pm

Hood canal is loaded with failed septics. Septic failure enforcement is basically non existent everywhere except Kitsap County. Surprisingly they are very serious about pursuing failed septics with DNA testing, dye, sniffing dogs, basically every tool we know about. Every other county talks about it and does nothing. Vashon even has a few cottages that have no septic at all and they get a slap on the wrist. Apparently the same people with waterfront homes have a loud voice in local politics...

Restoration fines for altering tidal beds of the state without an HPA can be hefty. We can only hope WDFW throws the book at this guy. I am curious if any of our OR members have stayed there?
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